Amid hue & cry of violence, CPM's bloody history tells a different story
Kolkata: At a time when the leaders of political parties are raising their voice against incidents of violence before the three-tier Panchayat elections, pages of history show that 45 and 17 people were murdered before the elections which were held in 2003 and 2008 respectively, under the CPI-M regime.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said that in 2003 and 2008, her party could field 30,000 and 35 candidates in the Panchayat elections.
Admitting that incidents of violence had taken place in seven places, she questioned how the Opposition parties could field 2 lakh candidates for the forthcoming Panchayat elections, had there been violence throughout the state.
In 2018, six persons, all Trinamool Congress workers, have been killed in incidents of violence.
In 2003, 45 people were murdered before the Panchayat elections. On the day of polling, 35 people had been murdered. After the poll, 27 persons were murdered and 1,200 houses were set on fire. All those who had been murdered, belonged to the Opposition parties.
Again in 2008, 17 people were murdered before the Panchayat elections. On the day of the poll, 21 people had been murdered, while another 13 were murdered after the poll. Nine hundred houses were set on fire. In a recent interview given to a vernacular channel, Mamata Banerjee had asked: "how can I forget those days when my party workers were murdered by CPI-M cadres?"
The first Panchayat elections were held in 1978, after the Left Front came to power in 1977. From 1978 till 2008, the Left Front had won in 50%-60% of the Gram Panchayat seats, while the party got 75% seats in Panchayat Samity and 85% to 90% seats in Zilla Parishad.
Trinamool Congress got control over two Zilla Parishads - East Midnapore and South 24-Parganas in 2008. Over the years, the party strengthened its organisation and got 13
seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.
In 2010, it got control over Kolkata Municipal Corporation and finally ousted CPI-M in the 2011 Assembly election.